At least 17 persons have been killed in different villages in two local government areas in Benue State.
Locals said the separate incidents happened within the past three days in Agatu and Kastina-Ala local government areas.
Witnesses said 15 people were allegedly killed in Kastina-Ala communities by armed invaders while the remaining two lost their lives in Agatu in circumstances which some blamed on the activities of cultists.
The residents of Katsina-Ala alleged that though the town may recently appeared peaceful; there were deserted rural communities, where the remaining inhabitants were still being killed.
A resident, who preferred not to be named, alleged that people were being kidnapped and women raped on daily basis.
“Let no one lie, the killing is still ongoing in the rural areas, most especially in Mbatyula, Mbayongo and Yooyo council wards of the Kastina-Ala Local Government Area.
“Not less than seven people in Mbatyula council ward were killed on Tuesday while Emmanuel Apever’s wife from Kenvanger was abducted to an unknown destination. In Tse Ate, three persons were killed and another two persons also killed at Saawua compound while three were reportedly killed in Tse Asaa, all in Mbagbeentya community of Mbatyula council ward,” the resident alleged.
Also, the Information Officer of the Kastina-Ala council, Tertsea Benga, confirmed the development, saying that some armed invaders were doing bad things to the villagers despite the success recorded so far by security operatives drafted to the area.
On his part, the secretary of Agatu LGA, Sunday Oteyi, said two persons, who went fishing in Aila, a rural community in Agatu, were hacked to death by unidentified culprits.
He said the bodies of the deceased have been recovered by the police in the area and deposited at a hospital morgue.
It was learnt that there was renewed disagreement on Tuesday between Aila and Abugbe communities of Agatu.
But the Chairman of Agatu LGA, Sule Adoyi, in a telephone interview, dismissed any fresh hostility among the people, stating rather that, “we are on top of the situation.”
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, DSP Catherine Anene, said she would find out if there were such reports from police in the affected areas.
Anene was yet to do so at the time of filing this report.